Seattle officials would like an NHL team.
Tim Leiweke is a busy man. Leiweke is now advising, at least temporarily New York Knicks owner James Dolan and what direction that team should take. Leiweke is also working with Dolan on an arena project, not for Dolan’s Knicks, Rangers and Liberty franchises but in a rather strange partnership that features Dolan and the Rangers franchises fiercest rivals, the Islanders, in the Islanders ownership bid to build an arena at the Belmont racetrack site near the New York City/Nassau County line. Leiweke founded Oak View Group, an arena and stadium building business with Irving Azoff who manages musical acts including the Eagles brand. Azoff is partners with Dolan on other musical and arena ventures. It was Azoff who recommended that Phil Jackson run Dolan’s Knicks franchise. Leiweke is also heading up the Seattle arena reconstruction.
Leiweke does not think he will be able to get an NBA franchise into the renovated Seattle building although he is pushing for one. However he does believe he can get a National Hockey League team into the building at some point in the very near future. The arena is right down the street from Jeff Bezos’s Amazon offices and there are a good number of rather large companies starting with Microsoft that are not too far away. Seattle should be a really good market. There is a good size regional cable TV network in town and there is government support for the arena renovation. Leiweke who has been around the NBA and NHL for decades has a significant player on his Seattle team, the very influential Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs who will run the building’s concessions. Vancouver Canucks ownership is also supporting a push for a Seattle NHL franchise. Leiweke is 1-0 on the season winning the Seattle bid, next up, building a facility for the Islanders ownership with James Dolan’s help.
Leiweke is also involved in the New York Islanders ownership’s bid for a new arena.